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CWC 2023: Riding on Mujeeb and Gurbaz brilliance, Afghanistan humble defending champions England

NEW DELHI: Riding on Rahmanullah Gurbaz's onslaught followed by Mujeeb Ur Rahman's all-round performance, Afghanistan produced the biggest upset of the ongoing ODI World Cup, trouncing defending champions and one of the top contenders for the crown, England.

Sparking delirious scenes in the Afghan dugout, the men for the warrior country upset the defending champions by 69 runs at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in the national capital on Sunday.

Mujeeb shone with his all-round performance with both bat and ball as he scored a quickfire 28 off 16 before leading his team's lion-hearted bowling effort with 3 wickets. Rashid Khan bagged three wickets while Mohammad Nabi scalped two.

For England, Harry Brook was the highest scorer with 66 runs off 61 balls.

Defending a challenging total of 284, Afghanistan needed early breakthroughs to put England on the back foot. And, Fazaqlhaq Farooqi did exactly as he sent back Jonny Bairstow, catching him plumb in front of the stumps with a sharp incoming delivery. Bairstow was back in the pavilion for 2.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman compounded to England's woes when a faster one snuck through to knock out Joe Root's stumps. With England reduced to 33/2, the Afghans sensed that they were in with a chance to conjure up a win for the ages.

Afghanistan were well and truly on top before the 20th over, with Dawid Malan offering a simple catch to cover off Mohammad Nabi and Jos Buttler cleaned up by Naveen-ul-Haq after a tense battle in the middle.

Afghanistan pressed England even harder after that, with Rashid Khan removing Liam Livingstone in the 21st over to leave the defending champions reeling at 117/5.

Harry Brook held the England innings together well, scoring his second ODI fifty and repelling the Rashid danger, but he kept running out of partners. Afghanistan further imposed themselves on the defending champions after Nabi sent back Sam Curran, caught at slip, with the score still under 150.

With a safe stand, Chris Woakes and Harry Brook raised visions of an English comeback, but Mujeeb managed a breakthrough with a tight over at the end of which Woakes' stumps were knocked back.

England's last hope, Harry Brook, departed as Mujeeb got rid of him with a splendid delivery in the 37th over of the game.

Rashid Khan extinguished England's hopes of winning the match as he bagged the last wicket to bowl out the defending champions and register a historic 69-run victory.

Earlier, Rahmanullah Gurbaz's carnage and Mujeeb Ur Rahman's late-order fireworks at the Arun Jaitley Stadium propelled Afghanistan to 284 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Sunday.

Gurbaz played an inning of 80 runs while Mujeeb slammed 28 off 16 and Ikram Alikhil scored a crucial 58 to take Afghanistan to a competitive total.

After Gurbaz's blazing start, England fought back well with regular wickets to eventually keep Afghanistan to a gettable total.

For England, Adil Rashid bagged three and Mark Wood scalped two wickets to help the defending champions impede the Afghan innings in the back-end.

Brief score: Afghanistan 284 (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 80, Ikram Alikhil 58; Adil Rashid 3-42) vs England 215 (Harry Brook 66, Dawid Malan 32; Mujeeb Ur Rahman 3-51).

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